The more help a man has in his garden, the less it belongs to him.
– William M. Davies
I think sometimes that life began the moment I started a garden. There are other purposes to my life, but as I watch a gazania bloom, I am convinced that no other use exists for my self-expression except the one that comes in the morning hour when the flower opens to the sun. Admittedly, I do not see exactly when that moment occurs, at least by human eye, but I experience it nevertheless.
By horoscope standards, a Virgo is prone to perfection. In case you’re wondering, I am a Virgo. Does that make me predisposed to behavior to that end (note I omitted the word obsessive)? I don’t know. You will have to ask my mother, my father, my husband and a whole host of others who have crossed my path. My brother-in-law and friend, Doug, would understand my tendencies. He too is a Virgo. I am sure he would agree that Virgos have no idea what makes us do what we do. Rather we do what we do because we have to, if only for the vision towards which we strive. Like with a garden.
Perfectionism by some standards would have me spend an extraordinary amount of money for beauty without thought to budget, but it would not be our house or our garden if only for that. What I love about our place is that it has come mostly from the sweat of our efforts and even the instincts of our dogs. The bags of soil and the vast array of foliage, although not always cheap, came not from a landscaper but from countless hours hauling, digging, fertilizing and watering. There was ache and pain from building the raised bed to house the vegetables or from the field stone carried up the stairs stone by stone that lines the walking paths. The garden may not achieve magazine standards, but it is our piece of heaven. As for the dogs, they are by no means driven by perfection. They just do what they do. I am the one who must adjust. Yes, I define the general boundaries, the vision if you will. The dogs, however, provide another idea, one where the plant gets a different spot than the one on which they would like to settle for a nap.
At night, just before sunset, I love the walk I take in Merlin’s Garden to sit a spell and think upon my life. I come to no profound insight that would set my life straight, but I do feel an inner quiet, an experience that does not always happen in the course of my day. I appreciate, never more than this moment, the beauty that surrounds me. I realize it comes from the effort expended when I am not busy making a living and from the grace of dogs who sit beside me enjoying the view as I do. It’s a garden that belongs to me. It’s a garden that also belongs to them.
Chaos has a place in this scene too. The quiet subsides and the dogs stir and begin barking. I watch as Merlin, Rocky and Tucker start running in wild displays of joy. If only I could be so free, I think. Except I am. In the garden. For a Virgo, it can’t get any better than this.